Non-compliance with Process Continues to Frustrate

Sims E-Recycling [2013] FWC 10173 (24 December 2013)

 The problem of red-tape in the process of enterprise bargaining continues to prevent the approval of agreements as FWC is also ham-strung by the rigidities of the Regulations.

 In yet another case involving the Notice of Representational Rights, a company has failed in its bid to have an agreement approved while trying to ensure an orderly process of bargaining.

 The company issued the standard Notice, including all the material required by the Regulations, but added some time frames for actions to be taken. In particular, the company asked employees to notify it within seven days of their appointed representatives. Given the amount of red-tape and process, including adherence to other time frames that employers must manage.

 FWC did not accept the Notice complied, not because it did not contain all that the Regulations specified, but that it contained more material. Effectively, the Commission is saying that an employer must send only this standard Notice to employees and then send further material later, in a separate notification.

 This case is further proof of the rigidities of the current laws and the inability of FWC to use its discretion to waive petty irregularities or to look at the situation in front of them to determine if any detriment actually occurred.